A continuous feeling of sad emotions and changes in bad behavior for a long time is known as depression. In this essay, I will give the meaning of depression and what are its causing agents. Furthermore, I would be including the symptoms of depression, the methods, prevention, and treatment followed by recommendations and conclusion.
Meaning of depression
According to Medical author, William C. Shiel (JR, 2018) “Depression is an illness that involves the body and thoughts that affect the way a person eats, sleep, feels about himself or herself and think about things. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. Without treatment symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years “. Depression is a state of mind when a client feels worthless, helpless, and hopeless in doing anything. It is a constant feeling of low self-esteem sometimes causing total social isolation.
Causes and Symptoms of depression
There are various factors that lead to depression. These factors include emotional stressors, use of medication or drugs, and changes in the brain chemical. The emotional stressors include personal issues, family issues such as loss of loved ones, or abuse of any kind such as emotional or physical. Excessive usage of drugs and alcohol may lead to depression. According to the ABS National Survey of Mental health and wellbeing, Around one in eight (13.0% or 2.4 million) adults experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, an increase from 2014-15 (11.7% or 2.1 million) (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2018). Depression is also caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. There are three brain chemicals noradrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine which are involved in the function of the brain and body. The imbalance of these chemicals is linked to psychiatric mood disorders such as bipolar and depression.
There are various symptoms such as behavioral, sleep, cognitive, weight, and mood. The behavioral symptoms include excessive crying, agitation, social isolation whereas, sleeping symptoms include oversleeping, insomnia, or sleeping very little. However, anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest in activities, mood swings, apathy, sadness, and agitation are the mood-related symptoms of depression. Lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or suicidal thoughts comes under cognitive symptoms. There are other symptoms such as excessive hunger, tiredness, loss of appetite, weight gain, and weight loss. (W Kanter, M Busch, E Weeks, & J Landes, 2008)These symptoms start even client does not notice as it happens bit by bit or slowly.
Prevention and treatment of depression
There are various methods that can be used to help in preventing depression. Such as Psychological treatment, Medical treatment, and other sources of support. Psychological treatment helps in changing thinking and improving to cope with the stress and conflicts in the client’s life. It includes various therapies such as Cognitive Behavior therapy (CBT), Behavior therapy, Interpersonal therapy (IPT), and Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).
Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT is the most effective way to treat depression as it can be used for different age groups. It helps in understanding and realizing why clients think and act in a certain way. A professional therapist identifies the pattern of behavior and thoughts which is making the client depressed or unhappy (Hoffman, 2019) . This therapy helps clients thinking rationally about the troubles they are facing or feeling depressed about. As CBT is focused more on Client’s behavior and thought pattern, whereas IPT or Interpersonal therapy according to (Legg., 30); focuses more on relationships as to how personal relationships affect the clients to face depression. Also, this therapy helps in determining whether personal relation is the depressing agent and if it certainly causing depression to the client then as a treatment more emphasis on improving relationships or overcoming sadness or grief. Unlike the above two therapies, Behavior Therapy (Selva, 2019) aims to avoid the factors which are making depression worse. It aims in motivating and encouraging clients to take part and engage in activities which they like and makes them feel satisfied. MCBT or mindfulness-based activity therapy is group therapy and includes meditation. It helps the client to live in the present. It helps in keeping the mind calm and reduces overthinking. It focuses on mindfulness and stops wandering of mind thoughts.
However, when therapies are not sufficient and effective enough, then medical treatment can aid. It can be used with the combination of both medicines and therapies depending upon the severity of the depression. Antidepressant medication can be used as medical treatment. It must be done with the consultation of a doctor with care and considering all medical history. As medication used can have different effects and results vary from client to client. Some of the common Anti-depressant used are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs), Noradrenaline Serotonin Specific Anti- Depressant (NASAs), and Noradrenalin Reuptake Inhibitors (NARIs). It should be noted that using these drugs comes with side effects too as it only makes clients feel better but cannot change the way they feel and think. Some of the side effects are headache, nausea, sweating, sexual difficulties, anxiety, changes in weight, dizziness, and many more (Fookes, 218).
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